Friday, May 12, 2006

Doggy Rant

Why is it that some people get dogs, anyways? I just don't get it. I mean, you're introducing a completely different species into your life, with specific needs and abilities. Dogs take effort, work, understanding, and patience. To be a good dog owner you really need to understand dogs, maybe do a little research, to know where they are coming from, so to speak. Unlike having kids, getting a dog is a completely conscious choice, a decision to add a household member that can easily be with you 12 years or longer. I have a co-worker who just got a puppy, a really cute little thing, half Shi-tzu half Maltese or something. She's always saying things like, "if this dog makes my house smell like 'dog', it's outta here!" or "I'm getting rid of this dog if she doesn't stop pooping in my bedroom!" I try to point out that the dog is only 8 weeks old and requires training to not poop wherever, and that if she didn't want dog smell maybe it wasn't such a good idea to get one in the first place... I mean, come on. It would be so typical that someone would spend 200 bucks on a little puppy and take it to the pound a month later, because it turned out that it was, gasp, a dog. On our Long Trek this morning Alice and I ran into a middle-aged woman with a black dog, whom she kept as far from us as possible; not enough to keep it from snarling and growling at mine. Hello, dogs require socialization; they need to learn to get along with other dogs. (And people, children, cats, et cetera.) It's completely irresponsible to have a dog that's so unsocialized, and it's not fair to the dog, who shouldn't have to go through life that way. Alice was like that when we first got her (probably because she's from the shelter) but she got over it, because we were always taking her places where she could interact with dogs nicely, dog parks and such. Shying away from all contact with other dogs only reinforces your pet's behavior, and yes, lady, that was aggression, not fear. Every bookstore has a long shelf of books dedicated to living with dogs, training dogs, understanding dogs... obviously these writers and those that read them realize that there's more to having a dog than just bringing it home with you. Too bad they're not required reading...

3 comments:

Benjamin said...

People should really do their research before getting a dog. Cats, too, although they tend to be more self sufficient. But getting a dog just because you think you'll look good with one, and then carting the pooch off to death row, just because it acts like a dog, is bordering on socoipathic behavior if you ask me.

Amanda said...

These...alas...are usually the very same people who procreate because it is "God's Will" and assure you that our government is the finest in the land.

Mara said...

Sounds about right. There's also this mentality that *little* dogs are somehow less dog-like than full-sized dogs, which is dogshit. Thery're still dogs,they still bark and poop and bite. Just because they fit in a handbag doesn't make them toys.